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Saturday 25 May Updated Thursday 19 February

Ricky's Comedy Shuffle

West Ham United fans looking for something to fill their weekends during the close-season could do a lot worse than head to Hammers fan Ricky Grover's new weekly comedy club in Stratford.

Comedian and actor Grover, who played Andrew Cotton in soap opera EastEnders, opened The Comedy Shuffle at Aspers Casino in at the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre in April.

As well as Grover himself, The Comedy Shuffle has already attracted some of the biggest names in stand-up, including Omid Djalili, Sean Collins, Tim Vine, The Noise Next Door and Kane Brown.

Once a month, newcomers are also encouraged to have their chance in the limelight by competing in a Shuffle Showdown.

Grover started out life as a hairdresser but fell into comedy by accident after he blagged his way into the Tom Allen Centre on Grove Crescent Road in Stratford with a play that turned out to be far too short - so he started making jokes.

"I was trying to find a venue that had a good vibe to it," said Grover. "I was walking around Westfield with my family and I thought 'this place is buzzing!'

"What's nice about it is that it's a real mixture of everyone. People are driving from miles away to come to Stratford but I kept seeing faces I knew and they kept saying 'Can you do a comedy club around here?' and I thought, yeah, actually that's a really good idea.

"It's quite an intimate venue, really, just over 200 people. I'm worried I'm going to be looking down and everyone is going to be a relation or mate."

The Comedy Shuffle opens its doors at Aspers Casino, Westfield Stratford City, every Saturday evening from 8pm.

To book tickets, costing £12 in advance or £15 on the night, visit www.thecomedyshuffle.com or call 07565 543100.

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